Facebook Page Changes Happen June 17th

Facebook is rolling out changes to Facebook Pages. The layout of your business page will change automatically on June 17th. If you log in now you should be able to preview the new layout and make any changes you want to make before the update happens.

See the image below for the most significant changes or click the image to view these changes on the BodyworkBiz Page…

New Changes to Facebook Page

Also see this post for more info: http://eric.bodyworkbiz.com/2014/03/facebook-business-page-changes-you-should-know-about/

 

Using Email Newsletters to Grow Your Massage Practice Part 3

bigstock-E-mail-Concept-43286056If you haven’t read them already, check out Part 1 where we discuss the relevance of email in a social media world and Part 2 where you’ll see how one therapist makes $28.60 from every subscriber on his list every year. Now, let’s move along in our exploration of how to use email to build your massage practice…

You must keep in contact with your clients!

People have other things on their minds besides you. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

If you don’t remind your clients of the benefits of massage and the unique advantages, solutions and results that you offer, they’ll forget. As a result, they won’t benefit from your work.

In other BodyworkBiz courses, I discuss a whole variety of strategies for keeping in touch with clients through good ol’ fashioned postal mail (a.k.a. snail mail). In particular, I’m a big fan of client education newsletters, like the BodyworkBiz First Hand News newsletters.

A client education newsletter will help you:

  • Educate your clients about the scope of your practice
  • Increase usage of massage by existing clients
  • Keep you at the top of your client’s mind
  • Improve client retention
  • Boost referrals from existing clients
  • Establish your expertise and reinforce your professionalism
  • Educate key referral sources such as chiropractors, doctors and physical therapists
  • Provide handouts with exercises, stretches and other great self-care advice
  • Promote your practice at seminars, workshops, shows and networking events

A great alternative to traditional newsletters is email newsletters! Also referred to as ezines.

Compared to printed client education newsletters, ezines cost almost nothing to produce and can be sent much more frequently. You’ll always stay at the top of your client’s mind and will be the first one they think of when it’s time for a massage.

In fact, you can get clients to book appointments on demand. Check out how you can get Instant Appointments.

Date, Don’t Marry…

The other thing an ezine will do for you is help turn website visitors into paying clients. You may be able to get thousands of visitors on your site each year, but most of those will never book an appointment immediately after visiting your site.

Why?

Because booking an appointment with you, taking time away from the things they love, going into your office and getting naked, and paying you lots of money is a big commitment.

They don’t even know you yet. You’re just just bits and bytes in a browser window.

Most visitors will have to get to know you before they make  a commitment.

How can they get to know you?

Through a newsletter.

It’s the online business equivalent to dating. And most clients will want to date a bit before they get serious and make a commitment to you.

Whereas few clients will book an appointment when visiting your site, a significant number – anywhere from 5% to 30% of your visitors will subscribe to your newsletter with the proper encouragement.

It’s a low risk action. They have nothing to lose. In fact, instead of having to give you money, they are getting something for free.

You’re getting them to identify themselves as people who are interested in what you’re offering. Now you have a chance to hang out with them on a regular basis, to tell them how they can benefit by seeing you, to explain the unique advantages and benefits of seeing you specifically and to answer their most frequently asked questions. With repeated contacts like this, they begin to feel more trusting and they begin to appreciate your expertise as a massage professional.

Keep dating like like this and before long they’ll be ready to move the relationship to the next level.

If you make a special offer, it provides added incentive for them to step away from their computer screen, walk over to the phone and call you now, before the offer expires. Your ezine becomes a conversion machine, converting casual surfers into regular clients.

By now, you should be excited – very excited – to get started in creating an ezine and getting subscribers. If not, then check your pulse. You may be dead.

So how do you do it? Over the remaining emails in this series I’ll give you practical tips for setting this all up, getting subscribers, writing content and maximizing your results. I’ll even introduce you to some great email services that you can use for free (like the one you are getting this BodyworkBiz email through). Keep you eye on your inbox for those emails.

And if you want to be absolutely sure you don’t miss these, then here’s some other ways you can get notifications for these “lessons”:

Like the BodyworkBiz Facebook Page: This is all official stuff with notifications of new blog posts and occasional updates.

Join the BodyworkBiz Facebook discussion group: After joining this Group, click the notifications button on the top right and choose “All Posts” so you get these notifications in your News Feed. This is a tightly moderated spam free group with a focus on growing your practice.

Follow me on Twitter: I Tweet lots of stuff that I don’t always share in other places, both personal and professional.

Be my Friend: If you want to connect more personally you can become my Friend on Facebook. I need to know you are a fellow massage colleague before I’ll accept the request though, so if it’s not obvious from your Profile, send me a message. And as an alternative you can follow me personally by clicking the “Follow” button on my personal Profile or by using the button here…

LinkedIn: I’ll post notifications of blog posts and BodyworkBiz newsletters on LinkedIn as well.

How To Grow Your Massage Practice with Email Part 2

bigstock_Laptop-mail_6432859

Last week in talking about the importance of email I said that you could make $28.60 per subscriber year after year! See the blog post here to review.

I was talking to a massage therapist who generous enough to share some information with me. We worked through the numbers together and that’s how much we calculated he made from each person on the email list – $28.60! At least, that’s the direct benefit. The actual value may be much higher. Let’s look at where those numbers comes from…

This therapist has a clinic with multiple therapists. Collecting emails is an important function of the clinic website. On the top of each page is a request for their email. There is a line that simply says, “For online discounts, join our mailing list.” Then there is a little box where people can place their email address.

There are now about 1500 people on the email list. Each week they get a coupon.

I signed up and the coupon that I got yesterday offered $10 off a massage of one hour or longer on certain days and times – these are the slow times in the clinic when therapists would otherwise be waiting around for clients.

Amazingly, 15 to 20 coupons are redeemed each week. Now if I’m conservative and assume that only 15 are redeemed and then do some calculations based on current fees, I estimate that the revenue from people that redeem coupons adds about $42,900 to yearly sales. Given that there are about 1500 subscribers to the list, that means $28.60 in sales per subscriber.

Yes, it’s true that the clinic loses $10 for each of these treatments, but they more than make up for that in pure volume. (Think McDonald’s “would you like fries with that” Value Meals: The package of items is cheaper than if they were sold individually, but the increased volume of sales for McDonald’s increases dramatically.)

But that’s not all…

That’s the direct benefit, but there’s more to the story…

This particular approach moves people from the busy times of the week to the slower times. This helps ensure that the sales aren’t lost simply because the favorite treatment times are all filled up and ensures a steady client flow throughout the entire day, including what are typically slow times.

These people may not have otherwise come in and they are likely to book additional appointments at full fee, buy gift certificates or refer people they know. All of this means more sales.

And the benefit doesn’t stop there. The email is a reminder to the other 1480 on the list who don’t use the coupon. Many of these people may come in at other times of the week as a result of the reminder, even if they never open the email. Simply looking at the subject header jogs their memory and reminds them that it’s time to come in. Seeing your name may even prompt them to refer others.

Are you starting to see the value?

What does this all mean for you?

Let’s translate these results to a more modest practice so that you can see the possible benefit for yourself. We’ll assume that you have a humble list of only 100 subscribers. At $28.60 per subscriber, that means an additional $2,860 in sales for you each year. You could probably take a nice little vacation with that money, couldn’t you?

However, the average full time massage therapist typically has about 200 to 300 active client files. Get those people on your email list and you could be looking at $5,000 to $7,500 in additional sales over the year.

“An average therapists working full time could expect to increase sales by over $5,000 per year by using email effectively.”

Let’s also look at this marketing tool from a Return On Investment (ROI) perspective for a small list of 100 subscribers. (If you’ve taken any BodyworkBiz course, you know by now that ROI is always the key criteria in determining any marketing we do. You are measuring your ROI for your various marketing efforts, aren’t you?)

At a maximum cost of $25 per month for an email service (and with a small list like this, it can really be done at no cost) you’re making $9.53 for every dollar you spend on email marketing. That’s a ROI of almost 1,000%. Try to get that kind of return on the stock market!

My message to you: Don’t underestimate the power of the humble little email.

I’ll be back next week to continue this series and to give you some specific how to’s and recommendations for creating an email list and getting subscribers. And I’ll point you to some great email services that are absolutely free! Stay tuned and keep your eye on your inbox for an email from “Eric Brown, BodyworkBiz”

And if you are not subscribed to the BodyworkBiz Marketing Tips Newsletter, make sure to sign up now at http://bodyworkbiz.com/newsletter.php

How To Use Email to Build Your Practice Part 1

One of the humblest and simplest tools on the web can also be the most powerful. In the glitter and glitz of putting together a website, SEO and social networking, this powerful device is almost always overlooked.

Is email dead?

bigstock-Corpse-5448632-resizedTake a moment to think about how you use the Internet every day. Which of the following are you most likely to do at the beginning of your day?

  • Casual surfing
  • Online shopping
  • Searching for information
  • Checking out your friends activity on social media
  • Reviewing “bookmarked” sites
  • Picking up your email

If you are like 99% of people on the web, one of the first things you’ll do when you go online is…

…check your mailbox.

They say that email is dead. But how are “they” getting that message out to people? Through email!

What do you need to sign up for a social media account? An email!

Where do you get notifications of activity on social media sites? In your email!

What is the web application that is used by more people than all others? You guessed it: Email!

So when marketing on the Net, doesn’t it make sense to go where people are? In their inboxes.

You want to be accessible in the search engines when people are searching massage services specifically. But the truth is very few people will call you up to book an appointment immediately after seeing your website.

They may be well intentioned. But…

  • Maybe they’re a little nervous about seeing you and want to think about it for a while
  • Maybe it’s after hours and they can’t call you
  • Maybe they have doubts as to whether or not you can help them
  • Maybe they bookmark your site with the idea that they’ll look at it later

Whatever the reason, even the most interested viewers will likely click out of your site, never to return.

What’s a massage girl (or guy) to do?

It should appear obvious…

Get permission to send them an email.

Start sending emails…

Although your website visitors may not go as far as booking an appointment, they may be quite willing to give you their email address. And the difference between those two things is as big as asking them to marry you as opposed to asking them on a date.

Interestingly, you’ll find that anywhere from 5% to 30% of site visitors will give you their email address if you ask in the right way. 

Once they give you permission to send them an email, you can visit them on a regular basis. You can drop into their inbox to:

  • Remind them that you are there for them
  • Educate them as to how you can help them and the people they know
  • Motivate them to take that next step of booking an appointment so that they can benefit from your services

Over time, you’ll find that a certain number of these people will come in to see you. That means that more people benefit from your skills. It also means more money in your bank account.

How much more money?

How about $28.60 for each subscriber every year!

Email subscribers = Money

That’s right. If you start developing an email list you can make $28.60 for every subscriber you have, year after year.

Where did I get that number? I didn’t pull it out of my butt. I got that number from a massage therapist who generously shared actual sales numbers from his practice with me. I’ll share the whole story with you next week, so look out for it.

Where are you going to look for it? 

That’s right! In an email!!

See you next week,

Eric Brown, Grand Massage Poobah

http://www.bodyworkbiz.com

PS If you are not already signed up for the BodyworkBiz Massage Marketing Tips newsletter, sign up here: http://bodyworkbiz.com/newsletter.php

How Often Should You Send a Newsletter?

Everybody has a different opinion when it comes to sending email newsletters to clients. When there’s a lot of conflicting advice, it’s best just to look at the evidence. And in the case of web marketing I usually turn to Dan Zarella, the social media scientist.

He has analyzed over 9.5 billion emails sent through MailChimp. Yes, you heard right… over 9 billion commercial emails. That’s a very large sample to analyze and so the results are pretty accurate.

I won’t go through all the findings, but I’ll look at one of the questions that comes up most often: How often should you send emails to your contact list?

Massage therapists are often concerned that they are being a nuisance by sending too often. If you are a nuisance people will stop clicking links in your emails. So if people are clicking links, you have a good indication that people are enjoying your newsletter and actively paying attention. This is called the clickthrough rate or CTR. The higher the CTR, the better.

If we take a look at clickthroughs in Zarella’s research, we see that the highest clickthrough rates happen for newsletters that are sent once per month. However, after sending two emails a month the frequency has little effect on CTR. So it really makes little difference whether you send once per week or seven times per week. There is no drop off in clickthrough rate.

The bottom line: There seems to be no danger in emailing “too much”…  but on the condition that you have something valuable to share.

email-frequency

Before and After: Educated Heart Website Makeover

Your website represents you and your practice. If your website looks bad, you will be judged accordingly. Visitors will think that your service is  cheap, outdated, disorganized or unprofessional. I know that seems so superficial, but that’s the way it works.  Massage is intangible after all. So people can only judge you by the tangible things that surround you, like your website. 

Recently, I recreated Laura Allen’s Educated Heart website.

The Educated Heart is a fantastic book and in my opinion has one of the best (and most readable) approaches to the topic of ethics. It was originally written by Nina McIntosh, but taken over by Laura Allen when Nina passed away.

Take a look at her original site. At a glance, what are you initial impressions? Is this book a credible book on the topic of ethics? Does it look unique? Is the book engaging and easy to read? How knowledgeable is the author? Does this website inspire confidence that the author knows what she’s talking about? Is it even clear at first glance that the site is promoting a book?

Here’s the “before”…

Educated Heart Website Before 1

Your impression is likely that this book is nothing special. Probably written by a lonely person in their basement. And if you go into the site it gets worse..

Educated Heart Website Before 2

The disorder and lack of attention to detail (even look at the frames around the images) indicates that this is not a professional book that deserves my attention. If the writing or thoughts in the book are half as cluttered as this page, there is no way I’m picking it up.

Laura, of course, inherited this existing site and was very aware of the issues. I love the book that Nina’s written and felt it deserved to be showcased better, so I offered to help Laura recreate the site. Here’s the “after”:

Educated Heart Website After 1

Educated Heart Website After 2

With this makeover, it’s clear that the site is about a book. The professional look of the site immediately changes your perception about the quality of the book and the value of the information it contains. The book in this new site is credible and deserves your attention.

I didn’t take a before shot on mobile, but it was unreadable. Now when anyone accesses the site from a smart phone or tablet, the site detects whatever device they are using and shows a mobile-friendly version of the site that displays beautifully.

I’ve created well over 100 websites for massage therapists, as well as sites for software developers, educators, restaurants, industrial manufacturers, consultants and more.

Would you like me to know some of the elements that go into making an effective massage website – one that works to get more clients through your doors? If so, Like or Share this page. Or if you have specific questions or topic areas you’d like to know more about, post them in the comments section below. If I see that there’s enough interest, I’ll share what I know about making your website work for your massage practice through this blog.

Thanks to Laura Allen for allowing me to share this makeover with you.

And because I know some people will ask… I’m sorry to say that I no longer create simple sites for massage therapists, but if you have a bigger web project you need help with, feel free to contact me and we can chat.

Three Things Massage Therapists Can Learn from the First Kiss Video…

I love this video that perfectly captures the awkwardness of a first kiss…

Just to be clear. This video was produced by a clothing company and some of the people in the video are wearing the company’s clothing. It wasn’t meant to be an advertisement in the traditional sense. (A little background check and you’ll find that the company has produced a number of short films.) It wasn’t meant to be a viral video. That just happened as a result of the authentic emotions the video evoked in viewers.

But back to us as massage professionals… How can we apply the success of this video to our marketing efforts? What can we learn from a kissing video?

1. Use emotion

With 47 million views in just four days you know that this is powerful stuff. Why? Because people connected emotionally with the characters in this video. We have to recognize that to connect with people or to be memorable, there has to be an emotional response from your potential client. The simplest way to accomplish this is to focus your attention on outcomes, not processes. You can do this visually or in words. For example, if you are a spa therapist instead of showing gunk all over someone’s face during a facial, show an image of how happy that individual feel afterwards. If you are writing your website copy, don’t talk about massage being the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body. Instead, tell them how good they’ll feel and the things they’ll be able to do after having had massage. It’s been said a million times: Every buying decision is an emotional decision. People use reasoning and logic to justify the purchase only after the decision is already made.

2. Be positive

While there is certainly a lot of fear-based marketing in play (and fear can can play an important role with some products or services), to really impact people you want to make them feel good, not bad. Like this video, you want to focus on possibilities rather than limitations. Unlike “evidenced-based” practitioners who continually draw our attention to all the things that massage can’t do, be a beacon of light and focus on the things that massage can do, especially as you tie those outcomes to emotion (re-read point number 1).

3. Keep it simple

Wren is not a clothing powerhouse. You’ve probably never heard of them. The total budget for this video production was $1,200. The participants were friends of the producer. They volunteered as a favor and weren’t paid. (She’s in the entertainment biz, so yes, some of her friends are actors and musicians). There was no elaborate set up. Just people in front of a blank wall. Bottom line: Great marketing does not have to be complicated or expensive. It just has to resonate with the potential client.

When you see something that affects people in such a powerful way, it’s important that you look for the lessons you can learn before you decide to tear it apart, dis it, and toss it in the trash. Be on the lookout for these little jewels and dig around and find out how you might be able to use the lessons learned in your business.

A Free Email Service for Massage Therapists

tinyletterlogoIf you are like 99% of people on the web, one of the first things you’ll do when you go online is…

…check your inbox.

So when marketing on the Net, doesn’t it make sense to go where people are? In their inboxes.

Some people say that email is dead, but the reality is that it’s still used by more people than social media. And although response and click-through rates may be down when compared to five years ago, email still remains one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your customers.

Many massage therapists are looking for a simple low-cost way to develop a newsletter. MailChimp is a full featured service that you can use for free for up to 2,000 subscribers (more than adequate for most private practices). But these full featured services can be quite complicated.

The solution, TinyLetter!

It’s a cross between a full featured service like MailChimp or Constant Contact and your regular email account. It does pretty much everything you need an email service to do, including automatic subscribes and unsubscribes, but makes it super simple. And it’s absolutely free: No strings attached. Perfect for your average massage therapist.

Check it out here: http://tinyletter.com

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Free eBook: Facebook Marketing in 20 Minutes a Week

A beginner’s guide for those who don’t have time to waste on Facebook

With over a billion people on Facebook you know it’s important for your business. But if you may not be interested in learning everything there is to know about Facebook. And even if you did you likely don’t have hours of free time every day to be using it, especially when the payoff for your time seems so uncertain.

This no-nonsense guide will lead you through six things you must absolutely do to set up your Facebook Page and will outline a simple Facebook marketing strategy that you can do in only 20 minutes a week or less.